We put up the current edition of our Waltham Forest Newsletter every month. Some personal details of U3A members are removed for privacy reasons but those of the Committee will always appear there. You can also use the CONTACT tab on this website to get in touch with us.
The U3A is a growing nationwide network of self-help educational activities organised by and for retired and unwaged people. The first Universite du Troisieme Age was founded in Toulouse in 1972 and linked with the staff and facilities of the University. The first University of the Third Age in the UK started in Cambridge in 1981. When the idea was taken up here the approach was different however. U3As in the UK are created, organised, and managed on a voluntary basis by members, who also run the activities themselves on a voluntary basis. Some activities are more 'academic' in nature than others. The key to them all is that you are using your brain, learning something and having fun at the same time. None of them have compulsory homework or run any tests. Each group is simply what its members want it to be. Have a look at our GROUPS page to see what we're doing at the moment.
U3As are about involvement in learning new things, expanding horizons, sharing skills and experiences, making new friends, helping others to learn and accepting new challenges to show that age need be no barrier to learning or to helping others to learn. Above all they are about enjoyment! There are now more than 1000 U3As in the UK with well over 300,000 members nationwide.
The Waltham Forest U3A was founded in the summer of 1995 by a few interested retirees who were looking for a challenge. A steering group of nine members was set up to produce a draft constitution, based on the Third Age Trust model, for approval by all members. The first formal meeting of the U3A was held in early October 1995 in Walthamstow. Initially there were only half a dozen groups for the 30 members but this number had doubled by the following summer after a good write-up in the local newspaper. By the end of 1996 there were upwards of 90 members.
As of January 2018, the Waltham Forest U3A has over 300 members with around 40 groups for them to enjoy, as well as a monthly programme of interesting talks. For administrative purposes we also form part of the London Region of the Third Age Trust.